Nicola Sturgeon demands inquiry into Boris Government amid growing ‘Tory sleaze’ row
Boris Johnson comments on Cummings leak rumour
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The Scottish First Minister said the “stench of sleaze” was “becoming quite overpowering” and added: “It is time for the Tories to put all their dealings into the public domain and let them be properly investigated.” The SNP is now demanding all Mr Johnson’s emails, texts and call records to be made available for scrutiny.
The stench of sleaze that is surrounding this UK Tory Government is becoming quite overpowering
Ms Sturgeon launched her broadside as Mr Johnson came under pressure to explain how the lavish refurbishment of his Downing Street flat was paid for following an explosive attack by his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
In an incendiary blog post, Mr Cummings accused his former boss of plotting an “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal” plan to get Tory donors to secretly fund the work.
The Electoral Commission has said it is still seeking answers from the Conservative Party over whether any sums relating to the work should have been declared under the law on political donations.
And an internal Downing Street inquiry has also been launched into how messages between the Prime Minister and billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson were leaked to journalists, amid an ongoing row over lobbying in Whitehall.
Leaked messages show Mr Johnson had promised the entrepreneur he would “fix” a tax issue for Dyson staff working to develop ventilators early on in the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Johnson has insisted there is nothing “sleazy” about his messages with Sir James, Britain’s richest man.
Ms Sturgeon released a statement which said: “The stench of sleaze that is surrounding this UK Tory Government is becoming quite overpowering.
“There are very serious allegations being levelled at Boris Johnson and his Government, including by people who worked closely inside it.
“As someone who has recently been subject to far reaching inquiries and scrutiny, a thorough investigation is needed here given the range and seriousness of the allegations.
“The SNP has led calls for a full comprehensive public inquiry and that must happen immediately.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford added: “There are now so many different parts to this Tory scandal that a comprehensive investigation into the workings of this deeply dodgy Tory government is the only answer.”
Earlier, former attorney general Dominic Grieve branded Mr Johnson a “vacuum of integrity” as the row over the bill for the Downing Street flab refurb intensified.
Mr Grieve, a Tory Brexit rebel who was stripped of the party whip by Mr Johnson in September 2019 and unsuccessfully stood as an independent at the 2019 general election, said: “It is all smoke and mirrors. He hasn’t said when he decided to repay it or whether he has now repaid it.
“The fact is that he did get, I think it has become quite clear, a significant gift towards the refurbishment of the flat.”
He continued: “If a minister goes abroad and gets given a gold watch by a foreign official, he has to hand it back to the Government or he has to buy it back.
“He doesn’t end up with £58,000 – if that’s figure – for refurbishing your private flat in Downing Street.
“My impression is there has been constant wriggling about the source of the money for this refurbishment and that’s just one illustration of the chaos Mr Johnson seems to be bringing in his wake and the reason for that is that he’s a vacuum of integrity.
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“And that’s been apparent for some time. Apparent, I’m sad to say, to my colleagues who elected him as leader of the Conservative Party.
“And if you’ve got someone who’s a vacuum of integrity then you’re going to get this sort of story coming up over and over again.
“I suppose some people may say it doesn’t matter, but in the context of trying to ensure good governance and people’s faith in democratic institutions, it’s really an extraordinary way to conduct oneself.”
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